5 Things I’ve Learned from Blogging: 3 Year Blogiversary
Today calls for a celebration! We are celebrating Afternoon Espresso’s 3-year blogiversary! Can you believe it? I know I can’t. It’s been quite the journey. From monthly closes, endless excel spreadsheets, and days at the office to no set schedule, managing your own time, drafting contracts, oh and did I mention being your own social media expert, marketing guru, business owner, PR manager, stylist, baker, photographer, etc.? Yes, that’s right with blogging you wear every hat in this business. Although it has it’s ups and downs, it’s been a challenge that (at most times) I’ve learned to embrace.
On this 3-year blogiversary, I thought it would be the perfect time to share 5 things I’ve learned from blogging. Fun Fact: 3 is my favorite number. I always used to wear it in every sport I played (yes, that’s right, I played softball and basketball back in the day).
Blogging has become an industry and so many people are starting blogs to fulfill their creativity they may not be getting from their daily 9-5. It’s a form of expression. It’s actually created so many jobs, like blog consultants, social media teams, and even specialized marketing for blogs!
- 1. Lose the Type A Personality – Well this one has been quite the struggle. Coming from the accounting field where things are pretty much always straight forward, routine, and consistent, I’ve had to learn how to roll with the punches. Well, at least I’m trying to learn (nobody said I was perfect). I definitely enjoy routine and consistency. Kudos to you creatives who can just embrace change and live freely. That’s just not me, so this has been a struggle. Some days I won’t get a thing accomplished because I get so caught up on something changing in my day that I can’t focus on anything else. It’s not a trait I’m proud of, but I’m learning to change it. Sometimes I have to look at a situation and even say to myself, is this really THAT big of a deal? Is this change really that bad? In blogging (and even life) change happens and you can’t stop it. You have to learn to embrace it and go with the flow, most of the time.. it will be okay!
2. Take Time for Yourself – Trust me when I say that no matter how big or small your blog is, nobody is really going to make a big deal if you take a social media/blog detox for a few days, a weekend, or even a week. Take the time out for yourself, for your sanity and just rest or you are going to end up burning yourself out. When you are burnt out, you aren’t going to be able to be creative and hence you won’t be getting anything accomplished anyway. This year, I thought it would be a great idea to incorporate my love for travel into my blog. It’s been a double-edged sword. I am doing something I love, but those vacations were always when I would take the time to spend with Joey and not have a care in the world. Vacations were a time where Joey and I would zone out of the day-to-day distractions and just come back to enjoying each other’s company. Now, I’m working on vacation.
I’ve realized this year it’s most important to find that balance between work, life, social media, and blogging. (I separated those categories because sometimes I don’t post a blog post, but I’ll still post on social media or be doing one of the endless behind the scenes tasks that you may not know happen). The best advice is you live and learn. It’s all trial and error. Find out what works best for you and your situation. Remember to cater to yourself and take time for YOU. Your readers will still be there and so will the internet. Because of this, you will be most successful and creative. Also, take vacations. Joey read an article the other day that stated people who take vacations are more likely to be successful at their jobs and earn higher incomes over their lifetime.
- 3. People Will Never Stop Thinking You Have All this Spare Time – It doesn’t matter how successful you become, people will never stop asking you what you do all day. I think my favorite question I’ve ever been asked is “So, like… what do you do all day? Take pictures in clothes and stuff?” Blogging is a job and, honestly, I could easily spend 70 plus hours a week working on the endless tasks. The industry is constantly changing, there is always something to learn, research, or create. Yes, it has its perks like working in my pajamas with no makeup on while taking two hours to drink my coffee – not a bad situation. Just because I’m home, though, doesn’t mean I don’t work 8+ hours a day. Just because I don’t go to an office doesn’t mean I am just relaxing, going to spa appointments and taking photos in “clothes and stuff.” In fact, sometimes I think having an office job was so much easier. I would go to the office, get off at 5, and then my day was done. With blogging, I wake up in the morning, start work, keep working, and sometimes I don’t stop working until right before I climb into bed. I also realized that people are just curious and simply don’t know the behind-the-scenes of blogging. They don’t mean any harm by asking this question. So please ask away! I’m happy to tell you about my day in and day out duties.
4. Don’t Compare Yourself to Others – This is honestly so difficult for anyone, especially if you are a blogger. Social media is such a huge part of our lives and it makes other lives appear seemingly perfect. I saw this quote the other day and it really stuck with me. When you are comparing yourself to someone else, you have to remember that you are comparing your “behind-the-scenes to someone else’s highlight reel.” Only you know how much you may be struggling or what’s going on behind-the-scenes and likewise for others. Things may seem perfect via social media but you have no idea what is going on to make it look like perfection. Remember you are only viewing their highlight reel because the reality is people don’t want to see photos of a messy house, or a baby crying, an argument with your significant other, or your doubts that you can be successful in what you are doing. People just don’t want to see those things, so keep that in mind the next time you look at a blogger and think, “Why does she have so many followers? What am I doing wrong? Wow, that person seems to have this or that! How does this person get so many collaborations? She is so pretty and I look so terrible without makeup. I wish I was as skinny as her.” Remember that you are you. You can only compare yourself to yourself because every situation is different. Just because a blogger has X number of followers doesn’t mean they are getting making so much money or are even happy. They are struggling, too, with their own issues. So, my advice is to compare yourself to yourself. Celebrate YOUR successes. Celebrate how far YOU have come and enjoy the journey!
- 5. Find Joy in What You Do – There are some tough times with blogging. Trust me when I say that. You are working your little heart out and you aren’t making progress, you aren’t reaching your goals, and in your opinion, you aren’t succeeding. You just want to give up. Be done and move on. The thing to remember here is at the end of the day are you enjoying what you are doing? I was talking to my brother recently and he gave me some good advice on a day where I was pretty down about myself. I was stressed out. He said to me that you have to remember that with any job there is always the “grind” where it may be ugly and tough and not the most exciting things to be doing. It’s called work for a reason. At the end of the day, is your end result something that makes you happy and excited? If it does, then you gotta push through that “grind” to get to your happy spot and remember your joy and goals.
Polka Dot Blouse (Similar here) // Forever 21 Bow Neck Tie // Chicwish Tulle Skirt c/o and Love this Style // Bow Pumps ($34)//
Now, I am by no means an expert in blogging or life advice nor am I expertly practicing what I preach. I’m a work in progress and all of these things I struggle with. I’ve come a long way since day 1 of blogging, and in time I hope to be better with each and every one of them!
Photography by Katelynn Dow
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Simply enter below by completing the rafflecopter.
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This giveaway is open internationally and runs until 10/17.
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September 30, 2016 @ 10:22 am
These are so great and I can so deeply relate to each one of these. Happy 3 years of blogging and I hope you have a great weekend!!
September 30, 2016 @ 10:38 am
Just stopping in to say how proud of you I am!! You’ve come along way since our conversation about you just getting started! How exciting the last 3 years must have been for you! Congratulations and I hope you keep it up for a long long time!
September 30, 2016 @ 3:21 pm
Oh my gosh I just LOVE all of these pointers. And Ashley, I celebrated my own 3-year mark two months ago, so mutual congratulations to us! Cupcakes and champagne all around. 😉
I’ll be sharing this on social, because your pointers are real and true and just great. Cheers to endless more years!
Coming Up Roses
October 2, 2016 @ 10:16 am
Congratulations on 3 years of blogging, Ashley! I absolutely love this post! I can relate to much of what you wrote about and this is one of my favorite articles that you have posted! I recently started blogging myself. I had many doubts before letting go of my fears and just started writing and sharing. I hope to learn and improve my blog over the years to come! Thank you for posting such an inspiring article!
Amanda @ Anchored to Sunshine
October 2, 2016 @ 2:11 pm
Congrats on the 3 years! This is a huge accomplishment! Love following along 🙂
Tina Interval Delaney
October 4, 2016 @ 8:39 am
Happy 3 years Ashley!! This is such a great post! It seems to not only relate to blogging, but to life!!